Digging Deeper

The human rights impacts of coal in the Global South

Dejusticia and Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
November 2015

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With the Paris Conference of Parties (COP21) about to take place and the world trying to come to an agreement on how to cap our carbon emissions, the campaign to phase out coal—the single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide—has been continually gaining ground. But the issue of coal is as much about the human rights of the individuals and communities affected by coal operations as it is about the environment. And it is as much about ensuring accountability for violations of these rights as it is about making sure that we keep to our 2 degree Celsius limit. This report looks at coal in four countries—India, Colombia, South Africa, and Egypt—through a human rights lens. It focuses on the Global South, where coal use and production are increasing despite the opposite trend in much of the Global North.

Filed in COP21 PARIS, Oil, mining and gas